Updated: Sunday, 5th July 2020 @ 5:57am

‘We fight to win and we will win’: Trafford Labour group announce new leader to replace 17-year veteran

‘We fight to win and we will win’: Trafford Labour group announce new leader to replace 17-year veteran

| By Jack Howson

Trafford Labour group issued fighting talk last night as they voted in a new leader.

Labour veteran David Acton announced he was to stand down after 17 years heading up the group last week.

Andrew Western, who previously held the deputy leader role and currently serves as Labour Councillor for Trafford’s Priory Ward, was voted in at last night’s selection meeting.

Mr Western, who had only held the post of deputy leader for five months, is credited with masterminding the party’s campaigns in the Broadheath Ward.

This saw Labour steal two seats from the Conservatives over the past year and take full control of the ward.

Stepping into the shoes of old-hand party leader David Acton, who has served as leader for nearly two decades, Mr Western said: “I'm obviously delighted to have been elected Leader by my colleagues.

“I'm incredibly proud to follow David and would like to thank him for all his work as leader over the past 17 years.” 

Speaking to MM, he said: “There’s no doubt Dave’s been a fixed figure in Trafford politics for nearly 30 years as a councillor, and he’s going to continue with a very important role at a Greater Manchester level as chair of the Fire Authority.

“All I can say is I’m really thrilled, and obviously succeeding Dave I’ve got a big job on, but the contest has happened now and we’ll move for wards as a united group looking to take the Tories on in May.”

In a statement last night, the born-and-bred Timperley resident insisted that he will ‘continue at the vanguard of efforts’ to seek answers on the ‘near £7m black hole in the Council’s budget’.

Mr Western, described by Deputy Leader and Urmston fellow Councillor Catherine Hynes as ‘incredibly proud of the place he has lived all his life’, will step into the new role at a crucial time for the group and the party ahead of the general election in May.

Ms Hynes said she has seen with her own eyes ‘the genuine commitment and love for Trafford that Andrew has’.

“We're on our way back to power. Let there be no doubt. We fight to win and we will win​,” she said.

Mr Western added: “I know that members have elected me because I'm absolutely committed to deliver a Labour Council here in Trafford next May.

​“My task now is to commit every waking minute to fulfilling the trust that has been placed in me.​”